Media Hits & Misses

How The National Media Is Completely Missing The Real Significance Of The Ongoing Conflict In Portland

“These right-wing forces are coordinating and positioning themselves to be able to launch a coup against American democracy and the Democratic Party, if the latter gains control of the presidency and government.” By Chauncey Devega Salon (9/4/20) In the Age of Trump, Portland, Oregon, is no longer just another city. Now it is a symbol and almost a Rorschach test for the country’s deep and explosive political divides. For Trumpists, Republicans and members of the far right, Portland is all that is wrong with “the Left” and “Liberals,” a chaotic nightmare zone where Black Lives Matter, antifa and other “enemies” are running amok while they attack “patriotism” and…

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Bill Moyers & Heather Cox Richardson On Her Powerful Daily ‘Letters From An American’

  By Bill Moyers Moyers On Democracy (7/29/20) A year ago, historian Heather Cox Richardson started writing small essays on the history behind the headlines and posting them to her Facebook page as LETTERS FROM AN AMERICAN. Today, over half a million readers (and counting) click on her dispatches each day. In this first of two episodes, Bill talks with historian Heather Cox Richardson about her decision last fall to start writing small essays on the history behind today’s politics and posting them on her Facebook page as LETTERS FROM AN AMERICAN. She had no idea of the response she…


Fifty Years After Studs Terkel Published ‘Hard Times’ … Here We Are Again

  “Then of course, the war came.” She pauses. “And the Depression was cured by a war.” By Neda Ulaby All Things Considered / NPR (8/11/20) The timing feels terribly apt. Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression turned 50 this year. A bestseller in 1970, the book was one of nearly two dozen written by the cheerfully empathetic historian and journalist Studs Terkel. In Chicago, Terkel was a radio legend. Before his death in 2008, Terkel brought both working class boosterism and intellectual rigor to his shows, broadcast on local stations for more than half a century. But…


Surviving The Pandemic In An Expanding Wisconsin News Desert

“It’s a void, other than what you pick up on social media, which of course may only be partly true and partly rumor.”  By Henry Redman Wisconsin Examiner (8/3/20) If a person is infected in the forest, and no one is there to report it, were they infected at all?  The answer is yes, of course, but as COVID-19 continues to spread through all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, people are increasingly being infected in communities that have seen local journalism institutions shut down or hollowed out — places known as news deserts.  Since 2004, Wisconsin has lost 77 newspapers, according…



The Establishment Corporate Media Convinced The Old, White Tidal Wave That Sanders Was ‘Unelectable’

The irony was, the fears driving many older liberals from Sanders were never well-founded. By Branko Marcetic Jacobin (7/6/20) Why did Joe Biden win the Democratic primary and Bernie Sanders lose it? Everyone has a theory: Sanders went too far left, or too far woke; he couldn’t expand his base, particularly into the black electorate; his surprise 2016 showing mostly owed to anti-Clintonism, and his insurgent campaign turned off loyal Democrats; meanwhile, Biden was an electoral powerhouse able to excite voters with his “moderate” agenda and historic ties to the party. Accepting all this has meant crashing headlong into a…


‘Pure Intimidation’ — Community Activists Targeted By Federal Agents

“They didn’t want us to have that rally.” [Editor’s Note: Free nation? Don’t believe it for a moment. This is ‘Just-Us’ Department American fascism. — Mark L. Taylor] By Chris Brooks The Intercept (6/12/20) “I’ve never had any run-ins with the cops before. I’ve never been to jail and have no criminal record, so when the FBI showed up to my workplace, it scared the piss out of me,” says Katy, a 22-year-old who works for a custodial services company in Cookeville, a small college town in middle Tennessee. “I really thought I was going to lose my job. The…


Incendiary Tom Cotton Op-ed Exposes Major Leadership & Editorial Problems At The NY Times

  By Dan Froomkin Press Watch (6/4/20) The New York Times’s decision on Wednesday to publish an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton — in which the Arkansas Republican called for the U.S. to “Send in the Troops” to forcibly subdue the “rioters” who he claimed have “plunged many American cities into anarchy” — has resulted in a remarkable public denunciation from readers and even the newspaper’s own staff members. Dozens of Times staffers risked the ire of Times management by tweeting the singular message: “Running this puts black @nytimes staff in danger.” The NewsGuild of New York, which represents many Times journalists, released a…


The Enemy In Our Backyard: Milwaukee’s Bradley Foundation Funneled Millions Into Voter Suppression, Union Busters, Climate Deniers, Right-Wing Media & Hate In 2019

By David Armiak Exposed / Center For Media & Democracy (6/8/20) In 2019, the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation gave millions to groups working to suppress the vote, bust unions, and spread climate misinformation, and to right-wing media outlets. The 2019 spending was detailed in an annual review document prepared by Bradley staff and examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). Bradley, one of the largest funders of right-wing infrastructure in the United States with $854.2 million in assets as of December 2018, states that it distributed $42.1 million in grants in 2019, a marginal increase over the $40.1 million it gave out in…


Forward This On To Your Activist Contacts! Your First Amendment Right To Record The Police

By Sophia Cope & Adam Schwartz Electronic Frontier Foundation (6/8/20) Like the rest of the world, we are horrified by the videos of George Floyd’s murder. Once again, police brutality was documented by brave bystanders exercising their First Amendment rights. Their videos forcefully tell a painful truth that has further fueled a movement to demand an end to racism and abuse of power by police officers. Recordings of police officers, whether by witnesses to an incident with officers, individuals who are themselves interacting with officers, or by members of the press, are an invaluable tool in the fight for police accountability. Often,…


Way Back In 1920, Journalist H.L. Mencken Predicted A Trump

“As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.” — H.L. Mencken, writing for the Baltimore Evening Sun on 26 July 1920, in an article entitled “Bayard vs. Lionheart” (and reprinted in the book On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe) (Cartoon by Seth L. Taylor, 2020.)


Amy Goodman Talks About Her 2008 Arrest In St. Paul: Journalists Under Attack Across The Nation!

By Thom Hartmann (6/1/20) Amy Goodman from Democracy Now!, was arrested during protests in St. Paul in 2008. Last week, a CNN journalist was arrested while live on-air. Do we live in a dictatorship which is worse than Russia or North Korea? Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! joined Thom and shared her experience under arrest for several hours with her press credentials ripped from her neck. Trump has called the media the enemy of the people. Are we now seeing suppression of the media and the US turning in to a police state? Link To 10-Minute Video ***** Settlement Reached…


A Journalist Blinded, A Child Maced & A Congresswoman Pepper-Sprayed: Police Violence Explodes Across The Nation

Targeting the media and innocent citizens. [Editor’s Note: When they use the Owellian term “non-lethal rubber bullets” understand the are using “crippling bullets”, as detailed below. If your intention is to slow, deter or chase somebody away you’d target the larger mass of the trunk of the body. Hitting someone in the face is intentional, and, Mr. Police officer, cowardly. — Mark L. Taylor] By Paul Gottinger Reader Supported News (5/30/20) Authorities in ten states have activated the National Guard and adopted curfews in an effort to crack down on nationwide demonstrations, which have spread to at least 75 cities following the police killing of…


VIDEO: I.F. Stone’s One Weird Trick To Do Great Journalism

  By Jon Schwartz The Intercept (5/7/15) I.F. Stone was arguably the greatest investigative journalist of the last 100 years, the “Patron Saint of Bloggers” and one of the main inspirations of “Unofficial Sources.” If you already know and love Stone, check out parts one (above) and two (below) of a new video, “The Legacy of I.F. Stone.” If you don’t know Stone but want to find out why he’s so beloved, the videos describe his approach and some of his accomplishments. They also feature Michael Moore, Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill explaining why they love him. Most important is Stone’s bedrock principle: reporters should start from the presumption that powerful…


Starving The Watchdogs: The Real Cost Of Disappearing Newspapers Is Counted In Far More Than Dollars

  Hidden Brain (4/27/20) The value of local newspapers can hardly be overstated right now. We read our local papers to track the spread of COVID-19 in our states, and the availability of ICU beds at nearby hospitals. We read to get a sense of how nearby businesses are faring, and what nursing homes are doing to keep residents safe. More of us are reading more news all the time. But at the same time that readership is soaring, advertising revenue—which keeps newspapers financially afloat—is plummeting. As a result, a number of newspapers across the country are laying off workers, even…


‘On The Media’ — Open Season On Truth

On The Media (5/1/120) Pressure is mounting for journalists to cover sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden. This week on On the Media, we consider how the Democrats once on the front lines of the #MeToo movement are being forced to answer for their presumptive nominee. Plus, fringe groups are calling to reopen the economy early — but what does that even mean? 1. Rebecca Traister [@rtraister], writer-at-large at New York Magazine and The Cut, on who will have to answer for Joe Biden. Listen. 2. Emma Grey Ellis [@EmmaGreyEllis], writer WIRED, on the media’s focus on anti-lockdown protests. Listen. 3. Timothy Mitchell, historian and political theorist at Columbia University, on how our understanding of “the economy” came…


Trump Campaign Sues Small Wisconsin TV Station Over Critical Super PAC Ad. So, Of Course, You Want To See The Ad, Right?

By Matt Shuham Talking Points Memo (4/14/20) The owner of a northern Wisconsin television station is stumped as to why the President’s reelection campaign is suing over a critical super PAC ad it ran. “Why they selected my little station in Northern Wisconsin, I have no idea,” Rockfleet Broadcasting President R. Joseph Fuchs told TPM on the phone Monday. Rockfleet owns three stations including WJFW-TV, the NBC affiliate in Rhinelander, Wisconsin targeted by the campaign. Trump’s slim victory in Wisconsin in 2016 was key for his ultimate edge in the Electoral College against Hillary Clinton. Now, his campaign is suing the TV station there over…


In The Midst Of The Trumpandemic: 10 Ways To Spot Online BS & Misinformation

By H. Colleen Sinclair The Conversation (3/27/20) Propagandists are already working to sow disinformation and social discord in the run-up to the November elections. Many of their efforts have focused on social media, where people’s limited attention spans push them to share items before even reading them – in part because people react emotionally, not logically, to information they come across. That’s especially true when the topic confirms what a person already believes. It’s tempting to blame bots and trolls for these problems. But really it’s our own fault for sharing so widely. Research has confirmed that lies spread faster than truth – mainly because lies are not bound to the…


Trump Sends Cease, Desist Letter On Ad Featuring One Giant Sound Bite Of HIS Mad Trumpandemic Musings

So, of course you just gotta’ see the ad, right? By Kerry Eleved Daily Kos (3/25/20) Donald Trump is angry. The Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA assembled an ad that features the sound bites of Trump and Trump only, and guess what? Turns out he’s an unhinged maniacal liar who’s gotten everything about the coronavirus wrong. That may not be news to you, but it is apparently news to Trump. And his dangerously factless musings on the coronavirus over the past several weeks have not worn well. So on Wednesday, a Trump campaign attorney released a cease and desist letter demanding that TV stations across the nation pull…


Is Gmail Hiding Bernie’s Emails To You? How Inbox Filtering May Cripple Democracy

  By Adrianne Jeffries, Leon Yin & Surya Mattu The Guardian (2/26/20) Pete Buttigieg is leading at 63%. Andrew Yang came in second at 46%. And Elizabeth Warren looks like she’s in trouble with 0%. These aren’t poll numbers for the US 2020 Democratic presidential contest. Instead, they reflect which candidates were able to consistently land in Gmail’s primary inbox in a simple test. The Markup set up a new Gmail account to find out how the company filters political emails from candidates, thinktanks, advocacy groups and nonprofits. We found that few of the emails we’d signed up to receive – 11%…


Michael Moore Takes On Establishment Democrats’ Empty ‘Bernie Bro’ Smear

By Michael Moore Rumble Podcast (3/5/20) Senator Bernie Sanders issued a forceful statement on Friday against Russian attempts to meddle in the 2020 election, as he has done in the past. This came in response to a Washington Post story that Sanders was recently briefed by U.S. intelligence officials that Russia was meddling in the election and attempting to “help” his campaign in an unspecified way. This comes on the heels of the Sanders’ opponents and the media dredging up the “Bernie Bro” canard from 2016 and attempting to portray online Sanders supporters as uniquely vile. In this EMERGENCY PODCAST…



ON CONTACT: Outcome Of Julian Assange Extradition Case Could Provide News Blackout Of Govt. Crimes

Psychological torture, faulty evidence, abusive treatment, isolated in courtroom glass cage and kept from attorneys. By Chris Hedges On Contact / RT America (2/29/20) On the show this week Chris Hedges talks to Joe Lauria, editor of Consortium News, about his coverage of US prosecutors in London attempting to extradite Julian Assange to the United States to face trial for allegations of espionage. Link To 28-Minute Video


The New York Times’ First Article In 1922 On Hitler’s Rise Should Be A Lesson For Today’ Media

  [Editor’s Note: As we have often seen, the American media has been unprepared to deal with the crass cruelty and danger of the Trump administration. By repeatedly pulling punches and using euphemisms like “misstatement” to describe Trump’s “lies” they have too often padded the sharp edges of Trumps reality. This excellent story shows how such journalistic timidity puts all of us at risk. — Mark L. Taylor] By Zack Beauchamp Vox (3/3/16) On November 21, 1922, the New York Times published its very first article about Adolf Hitler. It’s an incredible read — especially its assertion that “Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not…


The Classic Faustian Bargain Of New Intrusive Age Of Surveillance Capitalism

  “The real psychological truth is this: If you’ve got nothing to hide, you are nothing.” ― Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism ***** What happens to our pics on social media and what does that have to do with the persecution of the Uighars in China? (Scrape, scrape, scrape…) What is Pokémon Go really about? (Talk about child abuse.) Who was really behind Google Earth? (One shouldn’t be too surprised.) How much info do they really have about us? (Waaaay more than we volunteer.) Can there be a hidden microphone in your new home security system that isn’t revealed in the…


Conservative Columnist Calls Out Timid, Complicit Press Trying To Maintain Access To Trump: ‘He’s a raving lunatic … tell it like it is’

  By Tom Boggioni Raw Story (2/16/20) Appearing on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin excoriated members of the press who — in the pursuit of appearing “objective” — refuse to “tell it like it is” when reporting on President Donald Trump. Speaking with host Joy Reid, Rubin — one of the president’s more avid critics — got right to the point. “I think there are two things, “Rubin began. “One, I think that this notion of objectivity of balance has been so inculcated into the media that they now don’t call it like they see it…


Scope Of The Sophisticated ‘Disinformation Campaign’ Backing Up Trump In The 2020 Election

Republicans have created the most extensive online disinformation campaign in U.S. history — one intended to reelect President Trump. [Editor’s Note: This is an extremely important article. Probably the most important article you will read this week. What the Trump campaign has achieved with social media manipulation is nothing compared to what is coming at us, including ‘deep fake’ videos designed to bend fact into fantasy . The impacts will stretch far beyond November 2020, testing and undermining the information base needed for any functioning democracy. — Mark L. Taylor] By May Louise Kelly All Things Considered / NPR (2/7/20)…


Giving Another Billionaire A Free Pass: Why Is The Media Giving Mike Bloomberg A Free Pass?

Around-the-clock Mayor Mike propaganda feed. By Bob Hennelly Salon (2/9/20) Surely the American news media is way too on top of its game to miss a New York City billionaire — with a global brand and a little racist baggage — execute a takeover of one of America’s major political parties and become president. Right? Just as Trump did in 2016, he’s big-footed the process in such a way that once again we see just how devoid of core values the corporate machinery of both political parties are, just like the corporate media covering them. Currently, aforementioned billionaire Michael Bloomberg is flooding the corporate media…


Brazil’s Charges Against ‘Intercept’ Journalist Glenn Greenwald Reek Of Authoritarianism

ByTrevor Timm The Guardian (1/22/20) In a shocking attack on press freedom, the Brazil’s rightwing government announced on Tuesday it was charging the journalist Glenn Greenwald with “cybercrimes” in relation to his reporting on the Bolsonaro administration and corruption within its ranks. Thankfully, as of now, Greenwald remains free; a federal judge must affirm the charges before he is officially indicted. But make no mistake: this move by the Brazilian government is an outrageous attempt to retaliate against a journalist who has reported critically on Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro; its justice minister, Sergio Moro; and their allies – and it reeks of…


FLUSHED! The Bizarre Truth About The Real Power Of Trump’s Odd Toilet Obsession

What sounds buffoonish forges a personal connection with his followers. By Chauncey Devega Salon (1/17/20) For Donald Trump, the personal certainly is the political. He has shown himself to be a malignant narcissist. He is an egomaniac. Trump’s personal obsessions drive most if not all of his behavior. He has no conception, care or concern for most other people. Trump’s personal and political brand is grievance-mongering and a false narrative of white victimhood. This won Donald Trump the White House and remains the bedrock of his political cult and popularity. Trump is obsessed with personal slights. As such, like a king,…


A Progressive’s Handy Guide To Deciphering The Doublespeak Of Corporate Democrat ‘Centrists’

“Privatization” — Theft of public resources. By Richard Eskow Independent Media Insitute (1/6/20) “Purity test”? “Pragmatic progressive”? “Free stuff”? What are these politicians talking about? If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Certain words and phrases are routinely used by “centrist” political candidates. By design, these terms are imprecise, emotionally charged, and often self-contradicting. In fact, the word “centrist” is just such a term, since polling shows that the economic viewpoint of these candidates—especially regarding health care, Social Security, education and other social programs—is often well to the right of the general public. Pete Buttigieg’s recent use of the term “purity test”…


‘Guardian’ Journalist Owen Jones On Toxic Politics & Becoming A Target Of Far Right Abuse 

  By Anushka Asthana Today In Focus / The Guardian (1/7/20) Last August the Guardian columnist Owen Jones suffered a horrendous attack as he was out in London celebrating his birthday. In December three men admitted to the charge of affray. Next week a judge will decide whether one of the men, James Healy, was motivated by Jones’s sexuality. Jones is convinced it will not be the last time he is attacked, and that is because he has become accustomed to being a target in person and online. In the past year he’s been repeatedly taunted in the street, including with homophobic abuse….


NPR Drops Obediently Into Place With Pro-War Interview

By Mark L. Taylor Commoner Call (1/6/20) On Friday morning (2/3) in a segment provocatively entitled Expert Warns Iran Likely Will Retaliate For U.S. Killing Of Top General, National Public Radio’s ‘Morning Edition’ host Steve Innskeep interviewed retired general Jack Keane, who the network website described as “a retired Army general who regularly talks to President Trump, about the U.S. strategy on Iran…”. But there is much, much more to the general than that bland, anodyne descriptor. A quick search found some very important information about Keane. Media Matters notes: “Jack Keane is a retired U.S. Army general and a longtime Fox News military…


The Extreme Chinese Cult Behind The Facebook-Fueled Rise Of Trump-Worshiping ‘Epoch Times’

 Epoch Times wields one of the biggest social media followings of any news outlet. [Editor’s Note: This otherwise great article makes a fundamental linguistic mistake. It repeatedly refers to Falun Gong as a “spiritual” group, sect, practice or movement. Let’s get clear about something: Falun Gong is a dangerous and deceptive cult. Too often media is careless with language and in the process miss essential elements of important stories. With its growing destructive influence the Epoch Times is wielding, proper terminology is essential . — Mark L. Taylor] By Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins MSNBC (8/20/19) By the numbers, there is…


Ralph Nader On Eisenhower’s Warning: Prophetic & Presently Understated

    The American Conservative (7/6/18) The American Conservative hosted its annual crony capitalism conference at which Ralph Nader delivered a speech on the military industrial congressional complex titled “Eisenhower’s Warning: Prophetic and Presently Understated.” Nader is an author, consumer advocate, and former presidential candidate. He is one of America’s most effective social critics, and has emerged as a leading voice against the growing convergence of government and corporate interests. He is the author of Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. Link To 32-Minute Video Eisenhower’s Famous Farewell ‘Military Industrial Complex’ Warning — Ike’s warning about the…


DOCUMENTARY — Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky And The Media

  At yet another time of deceit and manipulation toward war, it is essential to understand how the corporate owners of the economy & government manufacture the consent of the population to send their children off to die in yet another useless war. Encore (11/16/17) Manufacturing Consent explores the political life and ideas of world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist Noam Chomsky. Through a collage of biography, archival material and various graphics and illustrations, Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick’s 22-award-winning documentary highlights Chomsky’s probing analysis of mass media and his critique of the forces at work behind the daily news….


Rumble With Michael Moore Episode 10: Reconsidering The Important Legacy Of Ralph Nader

  Rumble With Michael Moore (12/29/19) Michael Moore and Ralph Nader have a complicated relationship. So during his trip to D.C. to witness the impeachment of Donald Trump, Michael was surprised when he bumped into Ralph while visiting the office of Flint’s representative in Congress. They ended up having their first real conversation in nearly 20 years. Ralph agreed to let Michael record it for this podcast. Rumble Reads: Ralph Nader and Mark Green’s new book “Fake President” is here. Read more about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact here. Follow Ralph here. Send in a voice message to Michael….


Secret History Of The War In Afghanistan Reveals The Bipartisan Betrayal Of American Troops

  “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan. We didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.” — Gen. Douglas Lute, Afghan War “Czar” adviser to both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. (Access NPR interview with Lute.) ***** “Truth was rarely welcome. Bad news was often stifled. Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible. Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced everything we were doing was right. And we became a self-licking ice cream cone.” — Col. Bob Crowley, retired Army counter…


Think Trump Is Bad? Reporter Jane Mayer Exposes The Koch-Brother Puppet Masters Behind Mike Pence

  By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted Podcast (10/25/17) The great investigative journalist Jane Mayer has a fascinating exposé on Pence in the recent issue of The New Yorker magazine. The title of it is, “The Danger of President Mike Pence.” Jane is one of the best journalists of our time and she was one of the first reporters to crack open the CIA torture and extraordinary rendition program under Bush and Cheney. She has written a number of books. Her latest work has focused on investigating the Koch brothers and other shady right-wing or Republican financiers. Her most recent book is…


Renowned Journalist Amy Goodman Reflects On The Build Up To War & The Role Of The Corporate Media

  Amy Goodman tells of the day — with a gun to her head — her life was on the line reporting on a US-supported massacre of innocents. By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted Podcast (6/19/19) Amy Goodman is one of the finest journalists this country has ever produced. With the Trump administration attempting to drive the U.S. into war against Iran, it’s impossible to ignore the historical record of how the U.S. lies its way into war, the role of powerful corporate journalists in those campaigns and the lessons we must embrace if we want to stop this insanity. I also…